A CLIMATE change report released by Moyne Shire this week predicts homes along Port Fairy’s southern beaches will come under threat from rising seas in less than 50 years.
Detailed maps in the Local Coastal Hazard Assessment Study predict waves will likely begin eating into Ocean Drive over the coming decades.
About 13 homes will face problems by 2050, while 65 will be in the firing line by 2100 once erosion passes the road.
An offshore rocky reef might not be enough to prevent the waters reaching homes, many of which already sit at sea level.
Much of the spotlight has historically been on East Beach, which has struggled with erosion of its barrier of sand dunes.
But the latest data shows close to 47 homes currently lie in the path of inundation along the southern streets of Powling Street, Ocean Drive, Brophy Street and Anna Catherine Drive — increasing to 57 by 2100 because of sea-level rise.
Moyne Shire’s chief environment officer Oliver Moles would not comment on the specific threat to the area and instead urged residents to read for themselves the report, available through council.
But he confirmed the study found the reef barrier may not be enough to hold back a sea-level rise of 1.2 metres by 2100 — a worst-case scenario as stated by the intergovernmental panel on climate change.
“It is in the report ... the rock barriers situated in the water are not sufficient enough if the sea level rises,” Mr Moles said.
Despite the troubling revelations, the council has no immediate intention to change planning controls or overlays.
“No new controls are needed at this stage. We’ve got adequate controls for people who wish to build,” he said.
But the two-year study will probably become a significant reference document for developers and the shire. The Port Fairy study is the first of five to be released, with other parts of Victoria’s coast also being looked at.
Meanwhile, another report into river flooding is also nearing release.
Mr Moles said more information about that study would be available at community engagement sessions at the Port Fairy Community Services Centre on June 13.
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